Covenant: a formal or serious agreement or promise (source)
Marriage is a covenant. When you and your spouse said your vows, you made a promise–a “formal and serious agreement”–to love each other, be faithful to each other, and live together as husband and wife, for your whole lives, until you are parted by death.
In the Bible, the most important covenants were made between God and his people: between God and Noah and between God and Abraham, for example. In each of these instances the covenant was one-sided: God made promises without requiring anything from the other party. (Read more about Biblical covenants.)
In marriage, the covenant is two-sided. Both the husband and the wife make a lifelong commitment to each other.
One wedding gift my husband and I received was a copy of the vows we spoke to each other, printed and framed, with space below it for our family and friends to sign as evidence that they had witnessed us make that covenant and would help us keep it.
Sometimes it can be hard to remember the covenant we made on our wedding day. On those days when our spouse is driving us crazy; when they hurt our feelings for reasons we can’t understand; when we don’t feel loved like we need to be; when we are so angry that it’s hard to respect them; when we say hurtful things even if we don’t mean them.
Every marriage has days like that. That’s why it’s so important to remember that we don’t keep that covenant on our own power.
A marriage is a relationship of three: God, you, and your spouse. It is God who brought you together. It is to God that you made your vows, as well as to each other. And it is God who enables you to stay faithful to your spouse and faithful to your covenant of marriage.
Our vows, with the signatures of our family and friends below them, are framed on the wall in our bedroom. We also have photos of the two of us from our wedding day in our bedroom. These help us keep those vows in mind: they help us remember the covenant we made to each other. Sometimes, when we’ve had a rough day, we’ll read those vows to each other once again, renewing the commitment we made on our wedding day.
And then we pray together, because we know that it is God’s love that enables us to love one another, and it is his forgiveness that enables us to forgive one another.
May I suggest that you and your spouse post a similar reminder for yourselves, to help you remember to keep the covenant you made to one another? It doesn’t have to be in a big frame, but write or type the vows you said to one another and post it somewhere in your bedroom. Let those vows remind you of the commitment you made, and let them remind you of the God who empowers you to keep them.
© 2014, Jaimie Ramsey. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.